The far-left ACORN, America’s mostnotorious activist network, is workingto bring about radical change bycreating chaos.
Mart Alliance for Reform Now, whichsupports organizing unions in Wal-Martstores), ACORN Housing Corp. Inc.(arranges mortgages), Living WageResource Center (tracks efforts by citiesand states to raise the minimum wageabove the federal standard), two “social justice” radio stations in Arkansas andTexas, Project Vote (voter registrationand mobilization), Service EmployeesInternational Union (SEIU) Locals 100(Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas) and 880(Illinois, Indiana), Site Fighters (ﬁghting“big box” chains such as Wal-Mart andTarget), and American Institute forSocial Justice (publishes
magazine with ACORN Institute Inc.and the
). It alsooperates a handful of “social justice”high schools in New York and California.Trying to tell ACORN backers what you really think of the ACORNnetwork is a sureﬁre recipe for disasterat a fancy Georgetown dinner party.In many cases you can expect to be viliﬁed as a mean-spirited, anti-socialmiscreant who hates the poor and fearsminority groups. ACORN spokesmanScott Levenson was booted off FoxNews’ “Glenn Beck Program” forimplying during a break that the host was racist for criticizing ACORN.This vitriol is understandable because, in the hierarchy of progressiveactivist groups, the 39-year-old ACORNsits atop Mount Olympus, unassailable because its motives are viewed aspure. It may have many ﬂaws, butto its admirers, the fact that it is soregularly attacked by conservatives andRepublicans means it must be doingsomething right.But what gullible liberals such as ACORN donors Roseanne Barr andBarbra Streisand don’t know—or seemunwilling to admit—is that ACORN is atimes by ACORN was indicted in June by a grand jury for fraudulent voting.This is signiﬁcant because ACORN haslong claimed that the illegal casting of ballots is a myth. The Ohio prosecutorcontinues to probe ACORN.ACORN frequently claims to be a victim of GOP persecution but that lie won’t work this time: All of the ofﬁcialslaying charges in the three statesare Democrats. ACORN also loudly proclaims its nonpartisan status, butthat’s nonsense. ACORN works forand endorses only Democrats. Duringlast year’s primaries, the Obamacampaign paid $832,598 to CitizensServices Inc., an ACORN afﬁliate, forget-out-the-vote work.The activities of the ACORNnetwork, a tangled mess of interlockingdirectorates and upward of 100 afﬁliatedtax-exempt groups that routinely swapseven-ﬁgure checks, have long cried outfor a probe under federal racketeeringlaws. The network has taken in at least$107 million in donations and $53million in federal funds since 1993, yetit owes millions of dollars in back taxesand is eligible for up to $8.5 billion infederal funding this year.No one knows how big the entire ACORN network’s budget is. One of the reasons is that tracking housingand community development grantsadministered by the U.S. Departmentof Housing and Urban Development(HUD) is difﬁcult. HUD oftendistributes the money to states andlocalities, which then allot the fundsto many different nonproﬁt groups.Getting a total ﬁnancial picture wouldrequire enlisting an army of Freedom of Information Act requesters.The vast ACORN empire includes ACORN Institute Inc. (leadershiptraining for activists), W*A*R*N (Wal-In the parallel universeoccupied by many left-of-center Americans, theincreasingly controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now(ACORN) is a high-minded poorpeople’s group similar to crusadingcivil rights groups of the 1960s.They believe ACORN is a public-spirited organization that registersthe poor to vote and encouragescitizen involvement in morally uplifting projects and community development. They believe it spursproduction of affordable housing,protects tenants’ rights, keepsunjustly exploited borrowers intheir homes and rages againstpredatory lenders. They believeit ﬁghts for the rights of workers,immigrants and utility ratepayers.But it does so much more.
When the extortion and vote-fraud conglomerate ACORN isn’t busing schoolchildren to the nation’scapital to protest proposed tax cuts,it’s busy campaigning to expand thesize and scope of government, raisingthe dead from cemeteries and leadingthem to the voting booth, and promotingthe so-called Fairness Doctrine in orderto bludgeon conservative-dominated talkradio.
Although congressional Democratsrefuse to investigate ACORN, so farthis year alone voter registration fraudcharges have been laid against former ACORN employees in Nevada andPennsylvania. Nevada charges werelaid against two former senior ACORNexecutives and against the nonproﬁtentity itself.ACORN is also under investigationin Cuyahoga County, Ohio, after a man who was registered to vote multiple
by Matthew Vadum